Sourcing the good stuff.
Just like there are many MANY types of fabrics in the world, there are also many ways to process, or "tan" animals skins which all result in very different finishes, textures and colors- all for different types of products and at different levels of quality. The type of leather you'd find on a pair of shoes picked up from an atelier while on a vacation in Tuscany is almost guaranteed not to be the same leather on the airplane seats you rode over in.
Bags, wallets, gloves, shoes, car and airplane seats - there are SO many applications requiring leather, which also means there are many factories producing leather across the globe- most of which are unregulated. Luckily us humans have started to take a good look at our footprint on this planet, and as a result leather consortiums and regulatory agencies have been created. These agencies help regulate the process of tanning as a means to protect our environment, communities, and the people directly creating the materials.
Selecting tanneries that choose to hold themselves to these standards tells us they produce quality materials in sustainable ways, and these are the tanneries we feel really good working with.
Photo courtesy of Wickett & Craig Tannery, USA
Looking for Support
Just like a good bra, we want our bags to be supportive. We've experimented with many materials over the years such as plated and powder-coated metals, and these days we're using solid brass metal hardware. Why? Because it's very strong and you'll never have to worry about it breaking under weight of a bag stuffed full for a weekend trip. Plus, it will look just as good at year 50 as it did on day one. And that's the level of support we're looking for.